The making of the BRICS Evening Gala

By Zhang Rui, Zhang Ruomeng
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, September 7, 2017
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The creators of the BRICS Evening Gala in Xiamen shared insights with about how they made the magnificent stage event for leaders of the five BRICS countries and audiences around the world.

Xie Nan, BRICS Evening Gala general director; executive director Zhang Dongxin, general music director Guan Xia, general stage designer Chen Yan, and Chen Weiya, the director of art direction committee, speak to in Xiamen, Fujian Province, Sept. 4, 2017. [Photo by Zhang Ruomeng /] 

From local Nanyin music to orchestra, from southern Fujian's children’s tune to the operatic aria "Nessun Dorma" by Giacomo Puccini, from Egypt's pyramids to Sugarloaf Mountain of Rio de Janeiro among the stunning stage sets, the gala integrated music, songs, opera, dance and various distinguished folk cultures.

The gala’s creators described the various performance approaches as expressing a universal language that everyone in the world could understand.

"The sea is the string to connect everything including southern Fujian folk elements," said general director Xie Nan, who explained the whole show was inspired by the sea reflecting the fact that Xiamen is a city surrounded on three sides by water.

Actresses perform during an evening gala for the 2017 BRICS Summit and the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries in Xiamen, southeast China's Fujian Province, Sept. 4, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

As a result, local residents enjoy a strong maritime connection in city construction and lifestyle, which has also helped develop their unique creative ideas.

The veteran dance drama director then discussed in detail how the grand theme of the gala was showcased through southern Fujian's folk culture.

"It was about creating dialogue," Xie said, "For example, in the second chapter, the Chinese song 'The Sea, My Hometown' involves dialogue with the beautiful scenes projected on a screen of the foreign guests' hometowns. In the third chapter, local Nanyin music was speaking to the Western orchestra."

The spotlight was naturally on the Chinese musical "living fossil" genre of Nanyin. "This is the first time for the music to shine on a world stage," the director said. "It is slow and relaxed, conveying the emotions of happiness and good fortune, which was enriched and improved by the orchestra.

"The performance maintained an old school style while adding modern elements. I felt I gained great rewards from it in terms of artistic creation."

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